September 28, 2020

It’s strange but whenever I think of French bands I always have a picture in my mind of rather esoteric and experimental progressive rock bands with a distinct ’70s flavour to them and anyone who has albums released on the ‘Musea’ label will probably know want I mean. For example, could the amazing Lazuli be from anywhere other than France? What I do not expect is heavy metal and maybe this is just my ignorance but I do not know of any heavy bands from France other than Gojira. I know many of you will now be reeling off a list right now and perhaps I should, at some stage, do a little investigating to expand my knowledge.

Photo: Christophe Levet

So, along comes Rising Steel from Grenoble and they immediately turn my world upside down as Fight The All is a major work of metal excellence and as good as any heavy band out of the UK, the Nordics, Germany or the United States. The band has a sound built out of the NWOBHM movement and thrash, so power and high energy levels are the order of the day and if you are a fan of Judas Priest, Accept and Metallica then you will find much here to enjoy. Formed in 2012, this is the second album following the debut Return Of The Warlord in 2016 and a quick listen to this shows that the band was fully formed and had a clear plan and knew the direction to take to deliver a huge slab of hard hitting metal. It’s a little difficult to keep a track of the musicians within the band as they seem very fond of the ‘nom de plume’ when it comes to the musician’s names so we have Emmanuelson on vocals, Tony Steel and Mat Heavy Jones on guitar, Steel Zard on drums and Flo Dust on bass. It looks like this is not the original line-up though as we seem to have lost guitarist Mighty V and it’s possible that Tony Steel may be new too but it’s also more likely that he could have been previously known as Tony Riffman, all great fun but wouldn’t it be so much better if Tony Riffman was his real name? Whatever the reason for hiding their real identities, what is certain is that these boys can play as the twin guitar attack sets up a huge and unrelenting riff fest only broken by searing lead breaks. Drums and bass are thunderous and of the type much beloved in thrash with the vocals of Emmanuelson being strident, full of vitriol and passion as well as being delivered in faultless English. The lyrics are dark and delicious which Emmanuelson serves up with devilish glee against a searing background of guitars working overtime. This is metal that is unrelenting, in your face, unapologetic and will see frantic head banging and much long hair waving when played at maximum volume.

Whether it is a small, sweaty club or huge festival stage, it seems that Rising Steel has the ammunition to sweep all before them. Fight Them All is a gloriously written and well delivered slab of portentous heavy metal with some of the best guitar breaks you will have heard in a while with a vocalist with that down and dirty delivery best suited to true hard rock. A little further digging has revealed that the musicians real names are Fabrice Cassaro on vocals, Olivier Guillemain on drums, Antoine Portier and Mathias Quillard on guitar and Florent Chartier on bass.

Take bow boys as we all need to get used to your names as your career is only going upwards, a metal masterpiece delivered with true Gallic flair.

Fight Them All track list

  1. Mystic Voices (5:07)
  2. Fight Them All (4:33)
  3. Steel Hammer (6:05)
  4. Blackheart (5:04)
  5. Savage (4:56)
  6. Gloomy World (5:17)
  7. Malefice (5:07)
  8. Metal Nation (5:29)
  9. Pussy (4:24)
  10. Led By Judas (3:08)
  11. Master Control (4:46)